What’s a good rig for beginners to catch fish with? My vote goes to the Carolina rig, a simple, effective setup that anyone can use.
by Leon Pantenburg
(This post is in reference to a question about simple fishing rigs for catching trout in Colorado. This rig will work just about anywhere, for any species of fish.)
Suppose you want to take a kid fishing (Don’t hold the applause, folks!) or are trying to learn a survival fishing technique. What will work?
Well, the fishing is always good when you using dynamite, but we’re going to assume that we will only use legal methods!
One of the most effective fishing rigs I’ve come across is the so-called “Carolina” or slip-sinker rig. It relies on a sliding slip sinker, swivel and snelled hook.
Set-up is simple: Put the slipsinker on your fishing line, and tie the swivel below the weight. Tie the snelled hook to the other side of the swivel. Bait the hook and you’re ready to go.
Here’s how to use it.
First, find the area where the fish hang out. Look for a ripple, log or rock or something that causes a break in the current or provides some quieter water. Drop-offs between deep and shallow water in ponds or lakes are also productive. All these variances are called “structure.”
The idea is to find the area where some structure occurs, and throw the baited hook in there. The sinker will take the bait to the bottom where the fish are, and the PowerBait will float off the bottom so the fish can find it.
When you get a hit, let the fish take the bait. The sliding slip sinker will let that happen with little resistance. Then, set the hook and reel in your catch.
This is a favorite, go-to rig for virtually any kind of fish. This is the rig I started my kids out fishing with at stocked trout ponds. The bait for trout was floating PowerBait, which is widely available. For catfish, you can use virtually any sort of cut bait. A gob of nightcrawlers, with a tiny bubble of air injected in the tails can entice just about anything!
Just keep an eye on your line, and when you feel a tug, rear back with the rod tip and set the hook.
Have fun and enjoy your catch!